The state House this week will begin debate on a bill that would trim membership by 50 seats, according to a schedule of proposed chamber activity from Republican leadership.
House Speaker Sam Smith's proposal, known as House Bill 153, calls for scaling back the chamber to 153 members. The bill, a constitutional amendment, is required to be debated and passed by both the House and Senate in two consecutive sessions, and subsequently approved by statewide referendum vote.
With 203 members, the state House is the second largest in the country, trailing only New Hampshire. If the amendment ultimately passes, it would not take effect until after the 2020 census.
Also slated for House action this week is HB 2150, a corporate net income tax and Delaware loophole fix proposed by Republican Rep. Dave Reed of Indiana County and Democratic Rep. Eugene DePasquale of York County.
The bill would reduce the commonwealth's 9.9 percent corporate net income tax to 6.9 percent in 0.5-percentage point increments over six years, beginning in 2014.
The proposal would add an "expense add-back provision" to prevent corporations from reducing or avoiding taxes through the Delaware loophole, beginning in 2013. HB 2150 also would shift the tax apportionment system to a single-sales factor and phase out the cap on carrying forward net operating losses into a subsequent tax year.
An opposing loophole bill has been proposed by Luzerne County Democratic Rep. Phyllis Mundy.
The House Finance Committee is scheduled to vet the Reed bill at 11 a.m. today, according to House leadership.
The committee also is expected to take up HB 2230, a local-option sales tax proposal introduced by York County Republican Rep. Seth Grove. The bill would give counties the option to enact through voter referendum a 1 percent sales tax to be used to reduce property taxes in the county's school districts.
The bill also would give local governments the option of enacting a personal or earned income tax as a replacement for property taxes.
A prevailing wage reform bill that would raise the minimum threshold to $185,000 from $25,000 and establish an annual inflation adjustment remains on the agenda for final passage.